Back in late February China Southern took delivery of its first 777-300ER. In March 2014 it started flying to Shanghai from Guangzhou and now is commencing flights to NYC. The new aircraft features the latest cabin designs for the carrier which in our estimation has lifted the carrier to a world class competitor. With a brand new First Class, business class, premium economy and economy cabins.
Over the next two years the carrier will receive a further nine aircraft. China Southern’s new 777-300ER can accommodate 309 passengers in a four-class configuration with 4 First Class, 32 Business Class, 44 Premium Economy and 227 Economy seats.
Mr. Zhang Zifang, COO, China Southern Airlines said, “China Southern is the first airline to operate the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 simultaneously and the arrival today of the 777-300ER is another important development for China Southern, another in our commitment to provide outstanding products and services to our passengers. We’re confident that both these new products will be winners, especially when combined with our great China Southern service.”
We take a closer look at the new cabins in detail.
This intimate cabin is only fitted with four luxury seats that recline 180 degrees. They have a generous 82” pitch and a whopping 33” seat width, tall privacy screens and a 23” personal HD entertainment screen with a Touch PMU handset. We love these First Class suites, which mixed with the offerings that China Southern airlines offers, are a ‘suite haven’ for long haul travel.
The fully flat bed, large TV screens and brand new AVOD system, mixed with the intimacy of just 4 passengers make this a first class well worth considering. We like the deep purple colouring, helping ground the cabin, and hiding wear and tear.
Whilst this may be a familiar looking seat, the Solstys Sogerma business class seat, it is used around the world on many carriers, and is particularly successful for its variety of seating configurations for passengers requirements. Seating is in a 1-2-1 configuration and staggered layout, guaranteeing aisle access and offers both privacy and the occasional double seat for those travelling together. These comfortable seats can be adjusted into a fully flat bed of 76“ length and when extended 29” bed width.
The colours, a more muted purple, are sophisticated and understated, and the finishes clean and sharp. we like the additional reading lamps, and variety of storage trays and cubby holes to keep all your pieces secure. The 777 utilises the entrance way at Door 2 to turn into a walk up bar, where a variety of drinks and snacks are available throughout the flight.
Premium Economy Class
This is the jewel of China Southern’s new 777-300ER. A brand newPremium Economy Class that has been specially designed to meet the needs of passengers need extra space without the premium of a business class fare. The shell like Premium Economy seats provide more privacy space than the traditional Economy Class. It fits the industry’s first fixed “living space” main cabin seat with no intrusion and greater living space with fixed living space seat with a 38” pitch – six inches more than traditional Economy Class. When reclined, the seat-pan moves forward and a 123° reclined angle is provided.
These are very similar to Air France’s premium economy seats found on their 777 fleet. It has a large table, cocktail table, footrest, a 10.6-inch personal television, an in-seat power outlet, a multi-port connector for personal devices and extra personal LED light and stowage space. Perfect for the ultra long haul flights to NYC. In a 2 x 4 x 2 format, they offer a little more seat width and more space, and for those travelling as a couple, should relish in the window and aisle seat pairs.
Configured with adjustable headrest and footrest. The unique cradle‐style articulation and Optimized slimline frame design, with 32” pitch and an 19” width provides comfortable experience. All seats are fitted with 8.9 inch personal entertainment screens and USB port. The IFE system throughout the plane are the brand new Thales IFE system, offering faster response times and more usability functions.
Whilst the seat fabric design is perhaps a little more dated in the economy cabin, it’s still fun injects some colour and will help mask any wear and tear. All in all, we are pleasantly surprised by China Southern’s new cabin interior. We actually look forward to flying on it soon.